The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.
After Dr. Ralph T. Knight of Minneapolis consented to instruct some classes on their behalf, the American Red Cross reponded with this letter describing the intention and guidelines by which Dr. Knight is to instruct men and women in First Aid. They explain that there has been "considerable misunderstanding" among former students as to what they can do with first aid certification. The main point of the first aid classes for women is to teach first aid based on scenarios they may encounter in the home. If women want to prepare for war service, they are to be referred to the "Division of Instruction for Women," which offers more war-specialized instruction, even though the Red Cross is only to operate at the front in extreme emergencies. The Red Cross requests that Dr. Knight make this information clear in all of his classes.
May 16, 1917.
Dr. Ralph T. Knight,
My dear Doctor:
I have been informed by Miss Anna Jones, of your city, that you have kindly consented to instruct a class, or classes, in First Aid to the Injured for the American Red Cross. [...] There has been considerable misunderstanding among First Aid pupils as to what they are qualified to do after taking a course in First Aid. [...] As far as women are concerned a First Aid course is only intended to teach them what they can do when accidents and sudden illnesses occur within their own homes, or elsewhere, and is not, except that they have added to their general information, expected to, or accepted as, qualifying them for service with the Red Cross in time of war. Women who desire to prepare themselves for war service should be referred to the "Division of Instruction for Women" of the American Red Cross, Washington, D.C. [...]
Major Medical Corps, U.S. Army,
In Charge, First Aid Division.
Citation: American Red Cross, Northern Division, records, 1915-1921. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. [P781]
A bumper sticker that reads "FIRST AMERICANS/ FOR/ MONDALE/ FERRARO". It is associated with 1984 Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro. Circulated by Roger A. Jourdain.
For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this sticker in our collections database.
"Determined Resistance Made by German Troops in Northern France Halts Allied Forces" and "Beware of Austrians" - The Duluth Herald, May 15, 1917.
A pair of leather moccasins decorated with geometric beadwork. Made by Northern Plains Indians and dated to the early 20th century.
For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view these moccasins in our collections database.
"Heavy Losses for German Forces in Fruitless Attack" and "Pershing to Lead 10,000 Regulars to France Soon" - The Daily People's Press, May 13, 1917
Enlistment date of Captain Oskar Youngdahl. Originally from Red Wing, Minnesota, Youngdahl was highly decorated for his actions during the war. His file includes a number of newspaper articles, letters, a photo and a copy of the war department citation booklet. According to his Gold Star Roll, Youngdahl died "as a result of wounds received in action on October 6th 1918 at Mount Blanc [France]. A machine gun nest was bothering the flank of the company which Capt. Oscar Youngdahl was in charge. He went out alone, silencing the guns, killed some of the Germans in charge and captured the rest and brought the machine gun back to the line. While doing this he received a mortal wound through the nexk and died as a result of this wound on October 8th 1918 in a Field Hospital."
Citation: "Youngdahl, Oskar E." Minnesota Public Safety Commission. Gold Star Roll. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, Minnesota. [114.D.7.1B]
This photograph shows a woman working on the wiring of a B-24 "Liberator" bomber in May, 1944.
This image forms part of our Minneapolis and St. Paul Newspaper Negative collection. Additional photographs in this series may be available in the library, please view the finding aid.
Today marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Second Class Yeoman Leo Kolb’s enlistment in the United States Navy. Kolb was born in Melrose, Minnesota and spent many of his earlier years hunting, trapping, and beekeeping. When war broke out, he was employed as an accountant in Chokio, Minnesota, and he made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Navy in order to perform similar clerical duties. Though Kolb was stationed far from physical danger at the U.S. Navy’s Pay Office in Philadelphia, he fell victim to the Spanish influenza epidemic. Sources reported that despite Kolb's illness he remained at his work until he could "attend to his duties no longer" and had to be carried to the hospital. He died on September 21, 1918, at the age of twenty-one. Kolb was buried at St. Boniface Cemetery in Melrose, Minnesota, with the Home Guard and other military personnel in attendance. His Gold Star papers indicate that his funeral was the largest that his community had ever seen.
Citation: "Kolb, Leo A." Minnesota Public Safety Commission. Gold Star Roll. Minnesota Historical Society, St Paul, Minnesota. [114.D.4.4F]
This is a toy tanker with bright yellow steel cab with 'Tonka' decal on doors and a silver-colored plastic tanker with 'SHELL' [Shell Oil Company] & Shell logo on sides, in original cardboard packaging labeled 'Tonka/TANKER/...' model number 2635 made by Tonka Toys, Mound, Minnesota, 1978.
For more information or to purchase a photograph of this item, view this toy in our collections database.
In preparation for war, President Wilson announced on May 10, 1917 that he would create a Red Cross War Council, a group devoted to supervising activities of local branches and distributing available funds in a way most beneficial to the war effort. Later that day, the Minnesota chapter of the Red Cross received a telegram announcing the formation of the Council and outlining the next fundraising steps each chapter should take. As soon as possible, each chapter was to call a meeting of its Executive Council, expand its Finance Committee, and make long-ranging plans for fundraising efforts. Money was crucial to the Red Cross’s wartime operation “in both the field and in civilian relief,” and because of this, each chapter was to keep no more than 25% of the funds it raised. The majority would be sent immediately to the War Council, which would make final decisions on the allocation of those funds. Though raising sufficient money for wartime operations was a daunting task, the Red Cross had the help of President Wilson himself. In a brief address, he urged “all those who can contribute either great sums or small to the alleviation of suffering and distress which must inevitably arise out of this fight for humanity and democracy” to donate to the Red Cross at once.
Washington DC 8PM May 10 1917
C Palmer Jaffray
Secy Minn Red Cross Chapter 310 NY Life Bldg
[...] THE PRESIDENT TODAY ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT QUOTE 10 MAY 1917 I HAVE TODAY CREATED WITHIN THE REDCROSS A WAR COUNCIL TO WHICH WILL BE ENTRUSTED THE DUTY OF RESPONDING TO THE EXTRORDINARY DEMANDS WHICH THE PRESENT WAR WILL MAKE UPON THE SERVICES OF THE REDCROSS BOTH IN THE FIELD AND IN CIVILIAN RELIEF[.] THE BEST WAY IN WHICH TO IMPART THE GREATEST EFFICIENCY AND ENERGY TO THE RELIEF WORKK WHICH THIS WAR WILL ENTAIL WILL BE TO CONCENTRATE IT IN THE HANDS OF A SINGLE EXPERIENCED ORGANIZATION WHICH HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY LAW AND BY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AS THE PUBLIC INSTRUMENTALITY FOR SUCH PURPOSES[.]
[...] PLEASE AT ONCE CALL TOGETHER YOUR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND TELEGRAPH ME ASSURANCES OF THEIR COOPERATION IN PRESIDENT WILSONS FARSIGHTED PLANS FOR OUR REDCROSS[.] GIVE THIS MESSAGE FULL PUBLICITY.